Thursday, November 30, 2006

all better

Everyone was better today and everyone's appetite is back. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it'll stay like that for a while.

Hubby was back at work today. We also realized that exactly a year ago today he missed another day of work. Not a good time of year for him it would seem. But it was much worse that this stomach flu. Much scarier. He ended up in the hospital with atrial fibrillation. His heart stopped beating properly. No real reason. Since then he's been monitored, put on some meds, had a few minor relapses, we all try to keep his stress level down and things seem to be stabilized. Thank God. To see him, a man who always takes care of himself by eating well and exercising, all hooked up to machines in an emergency room was quite a scare. It put a lot of things into perspective. It makes one focus on the big picture and not just the details. But one thing is for sure, I want to spend the sunset of our lives together :)

 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

damn bugs

It started off with baby girl last Thursday. She had a 24 hour stomach flu.

Then it was big sis' turn. She ended up having it on Sunday when we were having our family over to celebrate her birthday and my mom's (yes they share the same birthday, 71 years apart). She spent the day lying with a bucket next to her. She managed to open a few gifts though ;) And it dragged on to Monday, her actual birthday, and she's still not feeling 100%

Then, last night it was hubby's turn. He actually called in sick today, something he's done a handful of times over the past 20 years. He pretty much spent the day in bed.

I keep waiting for baby boy to show symptoms. Crooss my fingers, maybe he'll be spared.

And me? Hanging in there. Haven't been eating much for the past few days, mostly weak tea and plain toast as I feel like I'm on the edge of getting it but willing my body not to succomb. Moms can't get sick, right?

But look who came to visit in the backyard this morning. There was a beautiful cardinal too but he was much faster than my camera.

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

christmas is in the air

We have an unwritten rule that we don't put any Christmas decorations up until after big sis' birthday. We kinda broke the rule this year, just by a day though. The weather was good and the twins had been bugging us since their return from Florida.

So out came the lights, detangling cords after cords, checking out which set worked and which doesn't and putting them up on trees that keep getting bigger and bigger and require another trip to the store to purchase more. But when nightfall came and on came the lights, there was magic in the air. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 27, 2006

twelve years ago today

We became parents. It feels like yesterday, It feels like a lifetime ago.

After 6 years of marriage and just as many years of trying, my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 15 weeks. We were devastated. Those were dark days in our marriage. We consulted specialists in the reproductive field, we had a multitude of tests done. The bottom line of all these knowleadgeable individulas: there is nothing we can do for you. We started thinking of a child-free life, a coping mechanism for sure.

Then a friend, also trying to conceive, asked me to go with her to this chinese herbalist/acupuncturist who specializes in infertility cases. We had a few common friends who had gone already and ended up with babies. She really believed this would work. Me, not really. With my trained scientific mind, I shrugged it all off as insanity but agreed to go with her to make her happy. He gave us a tea to drink and some pills for hubby. Lo and behold, we both got pregnant a few weeks apart.

I was ever so careful with this pregnancy, not rushing to tell everyone as we did the first time. Taking care of myself. Enjoying this purest miracle, with a little voice in the back of my mind thinking this could be the last time I'd ever live through this. Was a great pregnancy with just normal symptoms of heartburn and last trimester bloating. 40 weeks came and went. November 18th, the due date came and went. We were scheduled for an induction on the morning of the 28th of November.

The morning of the 27th, I woke up with mild cramping. They became more regular. We had breakfast in the dining room with the sun filtering through the windows. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday. At 10 am, I felt a pressure and rushed to the shower just in time for my waters breaking and gushing out. Hubby busied himself getting my bags ready and putting a plastic bag over my seat in the vehicle and we drove off smiling proudly at the thought of soon meeting our first born.

Our neighbour, my medical doctor, was outside putting some Christmas decorations. We stopped by to say hi and when she asked how we were, we said "we're great! we're on our way to meet our baby" She laughed and wished us well and was going to join us in a few hours as she was going to be our baby's doctor too.

Get to the hospital, settle in a room, start walking around, pausing for some panting. But then the pain intensified to the point of tears. I was having back labour and no position made me comfortable. Hubby started panicking and started getting things moving for me to get an epidural. Which I finally did. What a relief. Things progressed slowly and steadily and we started pushing. And we pushed. And pushed. And nothing happened. Finally my OB came in and declared that I was going to need a ceasarian. The baby was coming in face first (there's a medical term for this which I forget)and was stuck in the canal.

It became an emergency issue, I was rushed to the OR. Lights and machines were being flicked on as we came in. Hubby was gone to put some scrubs on. My epidural was wearing off. I was petrified with fear. I was alone on that hard cold operating table. People were rushing around me getting things ready, hooking up machines and waiting for the anaesthesiologist to come back from home.

Eventually he arrived, drugged me up and not very long after, our baby girl emerged at 8:30 pm and weighing in at 7 pounds. She had a huge crop of black hair halfway down her back (no wonder I had so much heartburn they said) and she was perfect. Hubby was crying with joy. I was trembling from a mixture of emotions and drugs. Outside, the first snowflakes of the season were falling and by the time hubby left the hospital to go back home, a full blown snowstorm was underway.

And our love affair with this child began.

So many firsts together. SO much joy. And now, I look at her, a young woman and wonder where my little girl has gone. We love her so much and just want the best for her. We want to shield her from the cruelties of this world and want to prepare her for it too. She's a great kid and we congratulate ourselves and count our blessings.

Happy Birthday my firstborn, my beautiful daughter and the best big sis ever.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

change of direction

Well, the day started off as any other day, get up early, get dressed, make beds, prepare lunches, make sure big sis has her project ready, sign last minute forms for her, gather up garbage and bring to curb, get hubby out the door on time, last minute tidying up before cleaning ladies show up, get kids dressed and fed for school, drive them to school.

But we get there and baby girl informs me she is not feeling well, her tummy hurts and doesn't want to go in. Leave baby boy there, get her back home, open the front door and she throws up all over the carpet in the entrance. Oh NO! Here we go. So she's been home with me which really threw a curve on my day's schedule. She's lethargic, poor sweetie, and has been sick a few more times. Now, who else will be getting this? We have a jam-packed week-end coming up: all 3 kids off on PD days tomorrow, appointments at eye doctor, haircuts, parent-teacher interviews, baptism on Saturday, birthday party for big sis and my mom and big sis' godfather on Sunday. Yikes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

this or that

Quite a while back, my hubby received a gift certificate as a present from one of the companies he deals with. It entitles us to 2 Ticketmaster tickets. All of a sudden, we realized that there was an imminent expiry to it. We decided to give it to big sis and have her pick.

So the choices boiled down to (1) the Goo Goo Dolls or (2)the Nutcracker Ballet. Different genres wouldn't you say?

Guess what my nearly 12 year old daughter picked?

Number 2. Which kind of surprised me. Part of me wanted to go see the Goo Goo Dolls, would have been fun but on the other hand, I love the Nutcracker. Big sis still remembers playing the starring role as a 4 year old in a school Christmas pageant where she was the Plum Sugar Fairy, an enchanting part of the ballet. So this was her main reason for chosing one over the other.

My best friend growing up was really into ballet. As much as I would have loved to join in with her, I was deemed too tall :( But I attended all her recitals, often helping backstage in the early years, and then watched her in the Nutcracker quite a few times. Must have seen that ballet close to a dozen times at different venues. I remember getting a vinyl record (gasp) of The Best of Tchaikovsky as a kid and loving it. One of my wishes back then was to one day go with my own daughter to see this magical ballet.

So it seems my wish is coming true. And it will certainly put us in the Christmas mood.

Monday, November 20, 2006

cause to celebrate


Yesterday we had 5 of big sis' friends over for a delebration. She turns 12 on the 27th but this was the only day good for everyone. It was a great group of really nice young ladies: two she's known since kindergarten, two were from her previous school and one she just met.

They watched a movie while munching on popcorn and veggies and dip, played a few board games, ordered in pizza, bday cake and fruit, opened some presents, listened to music, played some piano. All in all an easy for me and fun for them celebration.

But the best part of the day was when hubby and the twins returned from their trip late in the evening. I couldn't stop hugging them all. They had an absolutely wonderful time and I'm sure the stories will be trickling in in the days to come. And the little ones didn't even mention my new hair!

Our househlod is back to its usual routine :) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

new me

Well, after a week of purging, cleaning up, re-organizing around the house, moving furniture and wall hangings and picture frames around, I was on a roll. I was in a "change" kinda of mood.

So, on a whim, when I sat in the hairdresser's chair yesterday morning I declared: let's go shorter and darker! So, off went 4-5 inches and I'm no longer a blonde with highlights but a brunette!! When I see myself, I feel like I have a wig on. So far I've had a few astonished looks. The true test will be tomorrow evening when my babies come back home :)

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

the fruit of my labour

I'm almost there! Should have seen how much stuff I had at the curb this morning! I'm dwindling down to some odd and ends, finally, I'm seeing the end of this task and the neat freak in me is relishing in the end result. The war against chaos and mayhem of stuff is being conquered. I should be good for a few years, I hope.

First in the family room, everything has been condensed into this shelving unit: top row french books, second row english books and top bottom rows, mostly board games and little games neatly concealed in bins and, yes, wipe boxes!

Then the front closet, it was jammed packed and when guests came there was absolutely no room for their coats. So now, I can actually see the back wall and the top shelf is home to puzzles and board games for the older crowd. Basically stuff I don't want opened and spread around without supervision ;)

And finally this shelving unit in the laundry room. When the twins were babies, it held all their clothes. Once that phase was over, it became a catch-all for everything and anything Now we'll have ALL crafty materials on the top 3 shelves, one shelf housing the 3 boxes for mitts/gloves, hats and splash pants and vests.

Yep, this calls for a treat...chocolate here I come:) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

i'm pooped

Since the little ones are gone, it was a perfect opportunity to organize certain areas of the house without curious busybodies around. But what a task. I'm physically and mentally exhausted. Spent two days in the den doing household related paperwork, shredding and filing. Then tackled my recipe corner and put all loose recipes in a binder. Went through all their books and centralized them in one area, adding some to the ongoing pile of things to be donated (mostly clothes so far). Today I started tackling the toys and craft supplies. Yikes, so much of it. What to keep, what to give. There are piles everywhere, here and there. I will need another full day to put everything away. One more day of constant work. I still want to go through bathroom cupboards and then the phenomenal task of putting pictures in albums. Sigh!!! But Friday I'll treat myself to a morning at the hairdresser, a little shopping and lunch out...ahhh!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

rainy day meme

Will this rain ever end? And will my cold ever end? I've had it with this damp cold weather. I'm longing for the sun and a snot/dry cough/phlegm-free day. Yes, and my hubby and the twins have been going to the beach daily: 85F and sunny consistently. Oh well, at least they picked a good week to go there. Its crummy here and gorgeous there.

What's exciting here today? Getting my carpets cleaned, picking up big sis at school to run some errands and going out for supper at a friend's house.

Seems like a good day to do a meme (thanks Northern Mom and SCM and danigirl), to reflect on what I have and haven't done so far in my life and consider what else I'd like to do. So here goes, bold is what I did:

01. bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. swam with wild dolphins
03. climbed a mountain --on foot, here and in Europe
04. taken a ferrari for a test drive
05. been inside the great pyramid
06. held a tarantula
07. taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. said "i love you" and meant it
09. hugged a tree
10. bungee jumped--no thanks
11. visited paris --oh oui!
12. watched a lightning storm at sea
13. stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise--as a teenager and as a new mom;)
14. seen the northern lights
15. gone to a huge sports game
16. walked the stairs to the top of the leaning tower of pisa
17. grown and eaten your own vegetables--every year since a kid
18. touched an iceberg--in Newfoundland
19. slept under the stars
20. changed a baby's diaper
21. taken a trip in a hot air balloon --but one landed in our front yard!
22. watched a meteor shower--every year for my birthday
23. gotten drunk on champagne
24. given more than you can afford to charity
25. looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment--at a wedding
27. had a food fight
28. bet on a winning horse
29. asked out a stranger
30. had a snowball fight--every winter
31. screamed as loudly as you possibly can (very therapeutic. I recommend in the car, alone--totally agree with you danigirl))
32. held a lamb
33. seen a total eclipse
34. ridden a roller coaster
35. hit a home run
36. danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (see #23 above)
37. adopted an accent for an entire day
38. actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (for a moment? Often!)
39. had two hard drives for your computer
40. visited all 50 states
41. taken care of someone who was drunk
42. had amazing friends--and still do
43. danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. watched whales
45. stolen a sign
46. backpacked in europe
47. taken a road-trip
48. gone rock climbing
49. midnight walk on the beach
50. gone sky diving
51. visited ireland
52. been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. in a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. visited japan
55. milked a cow
56. alphabetized your cds
57. pretended to be a superhero
58. sung karaoke
59. lounged around in bed all day
60. played touch football
61. gone scuba diving
62. kissed in the rain
63. played in the mud
64. played in the rain
65. gone to a drive-in theater
66. visited the great wall of china
67. started a business
68. fallen in love and not had your heart broken--married for 20 years!
69. toured ancient sites
70. taken a martial arts class
71. played d&d for more than 6 hours straight
72. gotten married
73. been in a movie--as a kid
74. crashed a party
75. gotten divorced
76. gone without food for 5 days
77. made cookies from scratch
78. won first prize in a costume contest
79. ridden a gondola in venice
80. gotten a tattoo
81. rafted the snake river
82. been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. gotten flowers for no reason
84. performed on stage
85. been to las vegas
86. recorded music
87. eaten shark
88. kissed on the first date--with my hubby
89. gone to thailand
90. bought a house
91. been in a combat zone
92. buried one/both of your parents
93. been on a cruise ship
94. spoken more than one language fluently
95. performed in rocky horror
96. raised children--ongoing
97. followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. passed out cold
99. taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. walked the golden gate bridge
102. sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. had plastic surgery--laser eye surgery count?
104. survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. wrote articles for a large publication--scientific journals
106. lost over 100 pounds--over the years, for sure
107. held someone while they were having a flashback
108. piloted an airplane
109. touched a stingray--at Stinray City in the Grand Cayman
110. broken someone's heart
111. helped an animal give birth--a cat, a cow
112. won money on a t.v. game show
113. broken a bone
114. gone on an african photo safari
115. had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
sidenote where is 118?
119. had major surgery--C-section?
120. had a snake as a pet
121. hiked to the bottom of the grand canyon
122. slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. visited more foreign countries than u.s. states
124. visited all 7 continents
125. taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. eaten kangaroo meat
127. eaten sushi
128. had your picture in the newspaper
129. changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about --part of my job!
130. gone back to school
131. parasailed--in Turks and Caicos
132. touched a cockroach--hate those buggers
133. eaten fried green tomatoes
134. read The Iliad
135. selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. skipped all your school reunions
138. communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. been elected to public office
140. written your own computer language
141. thought to yourself that you're living your dream--daily
142. had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. built your own PC from parts
144. sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. had a booth at a street fair
146. dyed your hair--for years, damn white hair
147. been a dj
148. shaved your head
149. caused a car accident
150. saved someone's life--at work

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, November 13, 2006

la canadienne

To mimick nancy and dani and Northen Mom and even SCM

You are 100% Canuck!

You rock, you are an almighty Canadian through and through. You have proven your worthiness and have won the elite prize of living in a country as awesome as Canada. Yes I know other countries think they are better, but we let them have that cuz we know better than they do, eh?

How Canadian Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Even though I wasn't born in Canada, immigrated when I was 3 yrs old and a bit and still have my French citizenship. But I still remember the day in 1972, I was 11 years old, when my parents and I went to this very official meeting to be sworn in as Canadian citizens.

And that's what my European relatives call me: "la canadienne" because truly I am, even as a first generation one and really aren't mostly all Canadians immigrants at one point or other in their family history?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

3 down, 7 to go

Sleeps that is.

My hubby and the twins are in Florida right now. It's 24C and sunny at 10am as opposed to 4C and cloudy here :( Hubby had a week holiday and instead of hanging around here at this miserable time of year, in between golf and ski season that is, he thought of going to Florida. Taking the twins is no problem, but taking big sis out of school at this time of year was. She didn't want to stay back here alone, even with her grandparents. So, here I am with big sis and there he is with baby girl and baby boy and, of course, managed to get his parents to go too to help him out.

The twins were SO excited to go. They were so looking forward to the beach and swimming in the pool and going to all their favorite places. It will be a great experience for them as trips always are. And I'm sure an eye opener for hubby who will suddenly be thrown in charge of everything ;)

Meanwhile, we've been really busy here and barely home. Friday, while big sis was in school, I went to an all day course with my professional colleagues. A step back into my previous life. Part of me really misses it but I know I'm still not ready to go back. Another year and we'll see. Then we went out for supper and went to play badminton.

Saturday we slept in, breakie, shower, got all dolled up, went shopping, got our nails done, went to a ceramic place and made some Xmas presents, came back home for a night of girly movie and popcorn. Kinda of weird in a way spending so much time one on one with her. Totally out of the ordinary. Its a bit like reacquainting each other. We can talk about whatever and not get interrupted.

Today, we are meeting some of her girlfriends and their moms for a movie.

BUT the house is really quiet. Yes, I miss them. I will hug them like crazy when they get back. But I also have a gazillion little projects I want to do while they are not around and I bet I'll only get half of them done :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

still here

Busy week, little time for blogging.

A week ago today, we celebrated a fifth anniversary. Our family of 3 became a family of 5. It was a pivotal moment in all our lives. Things changed. A lot of things. But it was a good thing.

After years and years of dreaming about it, with lots of ups and downs and kinks in the road along the way, two little miracles entered our lives. Their little personalities evident from the start: baby girl pushed her way out first (she still always has to be first to sit down and eat, get her teeth brushed first, her pjs on first, etc) and then baby boy, with all the extra room, decided to flip around so twelve minutes later he emerged feet first and the cord wrapped around his neck. And he's still the one to do things upsy turvy and get tangled up in things! But all with a most endearing smile.

I couldn't even write about this a week ago. My heart was too swollen with emotions. It's a definite cliché, but, I do love them so much that it hurts.

So there were ballons and party decorations and cake and candles and we sang happy birthday and there were gifts and laughter and joy and hugs.

Definitely a great celebration worthy of such a grand anniversary.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

a mother's pride and joy

This afternoon was the first parent-teacher interview for big sis at her new school. I met with six separate teachers. When I presented myself as big sis's mom, the reaction was always the same: "ah, big sis, what a great kid", said with a warm smile. Followed by a commonality of adjectives: always happy and willing to participate and help, gets along well with everyone, has integrated exceptionally well in her new setting, inquisitive, organized and meticulous(what? don't really see that here), attentive, etc. and ending with "it is a true pleasure to have her as a student".

Needless to say, I left the school with a swelled up heart. True mother's pride. I metaphorically patted myself on the shoulder for a job well done but also counted my blessings on having such a lovely human being as my child.

While driving back home, when I do most of my deep thinking, I was pondering on what just transpired that afternoon and also on the fact that 5 years ago today I was in labour for my twins. Just thinking about how miraculous they are and the joy they bring to us daily got me all misty eyed. Even now, I get all chocked up on how blessed I am. My babies will be 5 years old tomorrow. A week-end of celebration is planned. Another bittersweet mommy moment.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

the morning after

What fun it was! The weather was perfect. The kids went trick or treating with a whole bunch of friends, close to 20 of us going from house to house. They laughed and laughed, stopping to look at all the decorations, some of the little ones holding hands. So cute. This was baby boy's first time (refused to go the last two years) and it certainly didn't take him long to "get it". He was first at every door! And baby girl ended up with so much stuff, she would go twice at each house and in the confusion of it all, no one really noticed. After 30-40 minutes, the little ones were getting tired and thirsty so back home we went to watch the hockey game and answer the door bell. A full hour later, big sis made it back. And that's when the loot distribution and sorting started. They each got a shoebox to keep their stuff and all chips and the like became communal. Having a peanut allergic kid means some things get put aside. Looks like I'll be getting my fix of Oh Henry's ;)
Even our betta Pita got into the Halloween spirit!
Look at all the loot they got! Candy and chocolate and chips and cookies and stickers and notebooks and pencils and playdoh too. Love the way they sorted it all out and baby boy was very quick in adding a sign declaring this area to officially be "Candyland"!
I'm sure we'll be finding a few of these lying around in the days to come. Posted by Picasa